How injuries helped shape Diogo
Diogo Dalot looks back at his injuries and lower moments as being most important in shaping him as a Manchester United player.
Dalot signed a new contract on Wednesday that will extend his stay at Old Trafford until June 2028, with the option of an extra year.
The Portuguese full-back has been a regular in the United team for the past 18 months, but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing since his move from Porto as a 19-year-old in 2018.
Diogo’s debut for the Reds was delayed by a knee injury and a number of further issues heavily impacted his first two campaigns in England, before a valuable loan move to Milan in 2020/21 helped him reset his career at the club.
Now a full Portugal international and with over 100 appearances under his belt for United, Dalot still values those tougher times and credits his family – who were in attendance at Carrington to see him put pen to paper on his new deal – with helping keep him on the right path.
“I could give you the easiest answer that obviously winning trophies is the biggest thing that you can do, but I look back and the most important moments for me were probably when I got my injuries,” Dalot told club media.
“That’s where I’ve learned a lot: when I’ve been out for a lot of time. Those were the moments for me.
“Sometimes it’s normal when you play football that your head goes everywhere else, apart from where you should be.
“I always tried, with the help of my family, to keep on my path and keep doing my things and most of all believing that I could play for this club.
“After that and after the year in Italy, I think it was important for me to show that I had this capacity to play for the club, and I’m happy that I’ve done that, but obviously it doesn’t stop here.”
Diogo will always count this season as a memorable one, with the 24-year-old getting his hands on silverware following our 2-0 Carabao Cup triumph over Newcastle United at Wembley in February.
It was a first major honour in England for Dalot but it just left him hungry to experience that feeling again – and hopefully he will very soon, with the Emirates FA Cup final against Manchester City looming large.
“I remember when we were lifting the trophy, I think I spoke with Rapha [Varane] or someone else [and said] that I wanted to feel that again, I wanted to be there,” Diogo added.
“We have another amazing opportunity on Saturday, but hopefully in the future we can still fight for other competitions and be able to win them.
“But that feeling when you have the trophy in your hands and you feel it and you know that everyone at home is celebrating - the fans, our families, our friends – that feeling makes you proud and I think it’s the biggest feeling that you can have in football.”